Designed, tested and used daily by global sourcing professionals!
In 2014, Team at global sourcing company, MES struggled sending out about 140 RFQs to it’s 40 odd suppliers globally. RFQs were being sent in excel forms and quotes were received in excel forms. Estimators and sales professionals as well as sourcing engineers would have to spend hours equalizing quotes, comparing cost breakdowns and despite their best efforts, it was prone to errors since suppliers would quote in excel or PDF formats and often change the templates. After the initial analysis, MES estimators would then have to copy the chosen supplier quotes onto customer quote sheets to help prepare it’s quotes to customers. Some of the team members called it a controversial name as living in “excel hell”. In 2015, MES’s quoting work grew to almost 200 RFQs eventually growing to almost 600 RFQs in 2018.
As this workload was growing, couple of it’s business analysts came up with a concept to build a “portal” which will allow them to populate all supplier and customer information in one place. After talking to few technology experts, team picked an IT partner in India and decided to build this portal on Microsoft SQL platform and host it on Azure cloud (Originally it was on Amazon cloud as Azure didn’t exist!). In an internal naming competition in 2015, MES team called the portal “MESH”. Somebody got $100 Gas Station card as a gift for this name as well (Thanks, John Southerland!).
In 2018, an intern at MES mentioned the idea to our founder, Hiten Shah that this MESH portal would be of interest to many manufacturing and enterprise clients to help with their RFQ activities. After some lag due to Tariffs and changes in technology team, we embarked to develop a portal and platform in the middle of Covid.
RFQ’s just got easier.
We did fair amount of benchmarking to see if we should buy or build this product for our use as well.
We found following problems with most of the products in the market:
- They cost too much! Average RFQ portal is built for enterprise clients with over 20 users minimum and cost atleast $50,000 all the way to $350,000 for some ambitious software!
- It specializes in what software calls “events”… We find it preposterous that buyers in most companies run events. We think their whole work is so busy and an ideal software should make their lives easier. Most of their tasks is managing RFQ and they doesn’t deserve special tasks of running “events”
- Most software have a feature of “reverse auction”. We consider this feature irrelevant to Tier 1/2/3 manufacturers and of very little use even to enterprise clients. Large companies like GM, Ford, etc use to run these reverse auction events and 90% of them yield little value living undeserving suppliers to “win” the events and putting poor buyers and commodity managers in a no-win situation in front of their management to try to get to this impractical cost, received from failing supplier.
- Most of the products claim to use AI, fancy graphics forgetting completely that most of the buyers and platform users are not aware, not inclined to and definitely not finding most of those features useful.
MESH is built with an ambition to be easiest to use. It’s aim is to keep things simple. It aims to provide good database of items which most manufacturers buy on a daily basis. It’s also inclined to provide intuitive and unintimidating screens. It also aspires to provide two things which customers will find useful:
- Dashboard – All metrics which are important to buyers and platform users
- Workbench – All To-do’s to manage day-to-day tasks and projects for buyers.
After a lot of scuttlebutt and research, we have embarked on a path to develop an easy to use portal, which will help OEM and Tier 1/2/3 buyers all over the world buy their materials easily. It is intended to be used by buyers, commodity managers and purchasing professionals on a daily basis.